This week, I spent some time (more time that usual) watching the statistics of you, my dear readers, subscribers, and clicked-here-by-mistake-ers. Based on over 18 months of panicked Ctrl+R on the Stats Dashboard, I feel like I can say this with empirical certainty:

  • I am not popular on a Friday.

I can say a few other things as well:

  • The Most Read posts usually involve a rant; and
  • The posts that I found most interesting to write were mainly read by my parents. And the friends that I bullied into reading them. (I can tell because they’ve been read, like, 40 times in their internet-lives).

And then I realised that I’m actually missing out on an important part of the fun of being a blogger: which is getting to write about things that make me laugh.

So in order to correct that, I’m trying out Friday as the day I dedicate to Workplace Politics. Because “working” on a Friday really involves sneaking off for long coffee breaks, company scandal, boozy lunches, googling holiday destinations, leaving early, and after-work drinks.

Which makes this the blogging version thereof.

Oh – and nothing makes me happier than offering unsolicited advice.

I went looking for inspiration, and I found a first topic.


Let me set the scene:

For some time, you watched the brunette from finance and that married manager with the bad teeth develop a regular coffee date. It started with a stifled encounter at the Starbucks across the road, where everyone goes in order to avoid the instant ground-chicory-root-posing-as-coffee that gets provided gratuit by the outsourced cleaning company. And while that first encounter might have been short on words and long on pained silences, they rapidly found a way to bridge the divide.

The occasional meeting turned into both arriving for their morning lattés with the timing accuracy of the Berlin Underground. Then he started waiting for her by the elevator come elevenses and afternoon tea-time. And not long after, they found that cubicle on the 5th floor that hadn’t been occupied since the downsizing…

Inevitably, there was that dramatic day when the manager had to step out to take a phone call, the whole floor heard raised voices, and he disappeared for 3 days. Suddenly, he was divorced, taking up residence in a new apartment complex, and the brunette proceeded to spend a full month complaining about the challenges of painters, home decorators, and the general uselessness of furniture deliverymen.

And finally, almost perniciously, there was a relationship status of “engaged”. At which point, Facebook exploded. And by the look of it, the brunette used all her work hours to design pastel-filtered montages bordered by stars and glittery candy floss.


The Awkwardness That Ensues

Yes. Yes it is awkward.

Not only because you witnessed the sordid start; but mainly because you’re one of the people that the happy couple will see every day. And the brunette will want to talk about her wedding plans; gloat over the venue that she managed to score ahead of the other couple that was vying for it; discuss the flowers that she’s having imported from some tropical island; and bitch about her future mother-in-law involving herself where she’s not wanted.

So you start to wonder whether you’re going to be invited. I mean – do you talk to people about a party that you’re not inviting them to?

Seems a little uncomfortable.

But then a wedding planner, who has “seen this done hundreds of times”, tells the couple that it’s okay not to invite work colleagues. But the idiot of a wedding planner forgets to include the “it’s okay as long as you don’t go on about it every day for hours on end” caveat to the non-inviting.

Either way, they still want to invite one or two of their close work friends. And, possibly, the manager’s boss, in a misguided attempt to curry favour.

The intrigue turns into:

  • who received a save the date
  • who was invited
  • who got an invite but not a save the date (round 2 on the guest list)
  • who didn’t get either

At which point, are you meant to be offended? Honoured? Suicidal because you might be obligated to attend?

The Honest Guide to Work Wedding Etiquette

  1. Everyone feels awkward about that invite list. I mean everyone.
  2. If you’re the bridal couple, plan a destination wedding for goodness sake. Or kindly elope.
  3. Don’t invite the boss – your wedding is not a networking event. And you’re sparing him/her the obligation of having to watch a subordinate brown-nose in a corsage. And watch the subordinate’s mother weep into a microphone.
  4. If you’re a work colleague, and rejection makes you uncomfortable, then just go away over the wedding weekend.
  5. This is actually a non-issue. If all else fails, lie.
  6. And if you wanted to go, but didn’t crack the nod (I’m told that there are people who feel this way), gate-crash. Or option 4 – because it’s good to have a life.

Does that help?